Friday, September 30, 2011

327- I Tried

But the power of dead pig is just too much.
I've mentioned many times about how my work has many catered lunches and breakfasts.  In fact, it seemed to be a daily event the first month I started!  My grocery bill went way down, but my waistline definitely went up.  I started out being good, just taking meat and vegetables, no dessert.  Day by day I was broken down, and shortly after when the meals became fewer and farther between, I was fully enjoying all parts of our catered meals, because who knew when there would be another one?  The days we had BBQ were my favorite.  Juicy dry-rubbed ribs and brisket (with a tasty no doubt sugar laden bbq sauce on the side), hot sausages, sometimes chicken, cole slaw, dirty rice, and corn muffins.  We get a lot of BBQ here.  A few months ago there was a long drought of no catered lunches, so I kinda forgot about turning the corner towards the kitchen (also on the way to both the bathroom and mailroom) and seeing a two table long spread of schaffers full of steaming goodness. 
The past 2 weeks have been different.  The catered breakfasts and lunches have returned.  I am so happily settled into my routine that I no longer stand idling in my cube waiting for the go-ahead to grab a plate.  Rather, I grab my gym bag, head to the bathroom (in the same hallway as the food) change into my workout clothes and head to the gym.  When I return, the food is put away, and I nuke my leftovers.  Usually there is some form of leftovers sitting on the counter next to the microwave, but I look at them with no feeling whatsoever and eat my stuff from home. 
The lunches this week haven't even looked remotely appealing to me.  Salmon on Monday?  Bleh.  Lasagna on Tuesday?  Bleh.  Sandwiches on Wednesday?  No thanks.  Fortunately I already went through the phase of trying all this stuff when I first started so I know none of it is that good!  Everything changed yesterday.  I was just about to head to the bathroom to change for my workout when I received the e-mail- BBQ in 2-D.  In case that doesn't make sense, that is an e-mail invitation to go next door and chow down on BBQ. 
Ooooh, now I was conflicted.  I could quickly run over, grab some ribs (only ribs!) and set them aside so I had them for after my workout.  Maybe there would be some leftovers in the kitchen when I returned?  No, probably not.  Oh, what do I do?!  This was the most pull from food I've experienced in weeks.  It was really effing with me.  I remained focused, and in my routine.  I changed, went to the gym, and told myself that it won't be too long before we have another catered BBQ lunch.  Missing this one BBQ lunch is NOT going to kill me.  Post workout, BBQ was the last thing on my mind.  I walked into the kitchen and saw 3/4th of a huge frosted cake that must have been leftover.  I walked past it to nuke my lunch.  I went about the rest of my day.
Today I per my usual routine, I went to the kitchen first thing to nuke my breakfast and grab coffee.  The leftover cake nearly gone was still sitting on the counter.  Maybe an hour or so later I went back for my second cup of coffee and there were 2 large cakes in addition to the previous left over cake in the kitchen.  Some cheesecaky-tiramisu looking thing that in a previous life would have devoured 3 slices with my second cup of coffee after my breakfast just because it was there (most of it is whipped cream, right?).  "What is with this place?" I thought.  So much of this stuff goes to waste (mostly because I'm no longer eating it! HA!).  A few hours later I head back to the kitchen to heat up my organic hamburger, and I see a tray of bbq pork ribs, dirty rice, and a bag of corn muffins.  LEFTOVERS FROM YESTERDAY raced through my mind.  I quickly grabbed 2 small ribs (no sauce), threw them on top of my burger and nuked my new lunch.  Oh, I was SO excited.  Even as I went through the motions of heating up my hamburger, I knew I'd be back for more ribs. 
But, I had to try.  I went to my desk and ate the ribs first.  I told myself if I finished my hamburger and was still hungry (not likely), I could have another rib.  I took two bites of my comparatively dry, flavorless burger, tossed it in my trash and went back for more ribs.  My mind (and tummy) now sit satisfied with dry-rubbed smokey goodness.  I feel kinda bad for my burger since under normal circumstances I look forward to it.   
Eh, what can I say?  The power of dead pig is just too much! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

328- Death Week

I survived death week at the gym.  Each day this week we did a workout in "death by" format.  'Death by' means that starting on minute 1, you perform 1 rep or 1 round of the given exercise, and then have the remainder of the minute to rest.  On minute 2 you perform 2 reps of the given exercise and rest the remainder of the minute.  It adds up fast, and soon you are just finished completing rounds and your rest time is nothing.  When you fail to complete the given number of reps for the minute you are on, you are done.

Try it for yourself.  Pick a single exercise you need to work on (push-up, burpee, box jump, handstand, 10m sprint etc.) and test out the 'death by' format.  You will get smoked, but I promise you will live.  

Walking should be interesting tomorrow.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

329- Eggcellent

Ten Reasons to Own Your Own Chickens:
1) They are hilarious
2) They eat bugs.  Lots of bugs.
3) They lay eggs.
4) They are low maintenance
5) They are the best entertainers for visiting kids ever
6) There is nothing more amusing then opening the back door and having 4 chickens race at you, thinking you are going to feed them regardless of how much food they currently have.
7) The eggs are REALLY REALLY good
8) They chase crows/stellar jays out of the yard
9) Maybe its just me, but it feels normal having chickens grazing in a back yard
10) The eggs are potentially excellent bartering tools

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

330- Sixteen Handstands

Have you ever had a workout so good that for hours afterwards you felt like you were floating on clouds with rainbows and puppy dogs?  How about a workout so good that not only did you feel amazing for the rest of the hours in the day afterwards, but then woke up the next morning and still felt the same euphoria?  Yeah.  I'm not lying.  Here it is, nearly 8am the day after yesterday's killer 6pm workout, and I feel like 1,000,000 bucks.  I even had my post for today pre-written, but I had to move it down the line to document this feeling, and post this today. 
When I saw the posting for the workout yesterday, I knew it was going to be one of those tricky ones:
50m OH Lunges (45/25)
45 Jump and touches (18″/12″)
40 Goblet Squats (50/35)
35 Double Unders
30 Kettle Bell Swings (50/35)
25 Squat hold Wall Balls (20/14)
20 Mountain Climbers
15 Hand Stands
10 Kettle Bell Press (50/35) (each arm)
5 Tire Flips
50m Bear Crawl
Call me crazy, but I looked at this, and thought "that doesn't look too bad."  But then I instantly thought of how many previous workouts I had thought the same thing, and how wrong, oh, so wrong I was.  Then I got a little nervous.  I knew the lunges, jumps, and jump rope would be tough on my ankle.  The rest of the stuff should be ok?  Oh, and hey, look at that, handstands!  Without the push up!  I can do those! 
I left work a few minutes later then usual headed for the gym.  It had been raining all day, and couple that with the few minute delay in leaving, and I was stuck in all sorts of Seattle traffic hell.  The places where traffic was normally free flowing was stopped.  This can't be good.  As I neared my exit to home, (40 minutes later on what should be a 20 minute drive) I was tempted to go home, head to the grocery store and make soup for dinner.  I texted the bf deluxe (I know, I know, texting and driving, but I was stopped in traffic!) and told him I was skipping the gym.  As soon as I pressed send, traffic instantly cleared and the next thing I knew, I went cruising by my home exit at 60mph. 
I missed the 5pm class, but I would be way early for the 6pm.  Oh!  I'll get a snack and shop for dinner before the 6pm class, and then I can just go straight home after!  In the produce aisle, I crazily started grabbing all on sale veggies to stock the fridge, I headed over to the bulk section to get some nuts for my pre-workout snack, and lo and behold, there was one of my sweaty gym buddies.  "Hi lady!"  I said, "just get done?"  She proceeded to fill me in on the workout details, and like I suspected, it was one of those tricky ones.  I grabbed some natural pepperoni for pre-workout fuel as well, because it sounded like I was going to need it. 
I arrived at the gym just in time to see some people finishing up and the looks on their faces.  The energy of the workout was awesome.  It was tough, but I could tell this was not one to be missed.  Times on the board ranged from 13 minutes to 22 minutes.  Primal sounds were emerging from the quietest girls, the floor had scattered drops of sweat, as if the ceiling had opened for a second and allowed rain to fall.  My mind flashed briefly to my birthday workout, today was the day where I was supposed to perform my first workout ever recorded and see how far I've come in a year.  The trainer and I looked over my first week of workouts, and they were all brutal.  I chose to do the workout everyone else was doing that day instead because birthday workout can wait.  Best choice ever. 
There were a solid four of us at the 6pm class, and I was excited and nervous to get this thing over with.  I looked at the times on the board of everyone that had finished the workout so far, and chose a goal of under 21 minutes based on the times of the people I usually match.  We quickly chose our weights, kettlebells, etc. and had to demonstrate what we would be doing for a handstand.  Next thing I knew, we were off lunging across the room holding plates above our heads.  Lunges were SO hard on the ankle.  I powered through.  The jump touches were really hard on the ankle, I powered through.  Goblet squats- no problem.  Single unders were hard on the ankle, again, powered through.  Kettlebell swings were rough as my heart rate was up, and breathing fast.  Squat wall ball holds?  Worse thing ever- just got it over with.  I looked at the clock when I was finished with those and realized I had a shot at making my goal.  I powered through the mountain climbers, and got ready for handstands.  Somehow 15 didn't sound like so many, but after 6, I was spent!  I kept at it, and trainer shouted "great handstands, really good!"  That kept me going for the last few.  Kettlebell press were impossible at this point with 35#, so I switched to 25# I banged those out like they were nothing and moved onto tire flips.  Normally I can flip the tire at least once unassisted.  Not after all I just did!  So, someone that had already done the workout kindly offered one of his arms for assistance.  The 50m bear crawl was almost unbearable (HA!).  Again, I just wanted to get through it.  I saw the clock, and I still had a shot at an under 21 min finish.  As I was on my last 10m, the other guy still working out with me passed me (all 6'3" of him) and I touched the wall seconds later.  20:32.  Boo-yah!
What an awesome workout.  Driving home my arms and shoulders were so hot from all the use, they felt huge and swollen.  As if none of the other stuff in the workout mattered, I just kept thinking of how I did 16 handstands!  The post workout high rushed over me, and has remained since. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

331-Lunchroom Lo-carb Chat

I rounded the corner and walked through the doorway of our lunchroom today weiding my 2 chicken legs in tupperware.  There were two co-workers of mine (one I know well, and the other not much at all) chatting while little known co-worker was just pulling out his delicious smelling leftovers.  "Really?"  I heard friend co-worker say, "no carbs?"  "Yup."  He replied.  Without hesitation, I jumped in and started telling my experiences with la vida lo carb. 
Like two vultures devouring a fresh roadkill, we went back and forth sharing all the successes and things we love about our lives since removing carbs from our diets.  He lost 25 pounds in 7 weeks and stopped snoring.  I told him about my allergies disappearing and how GREAT I feel.  He crossed the breakroom and shook my hand.  Friend co-worker just stood in awe, and took it all in.  Yes, I think we may have a new convert soon! 
Talking about diet/food is tough.  Its very personal, everyone is emotionally tied to the things they eat.  Its so nice happening upon like-minded individuals in the most random of places (i.e. NOT my crossfit gym!).  It also makes me feel like this wonderful information could be reaching many different groups of people, and that is so, so exciting.   

Sunday, September 25, 2011

332- How to

Survive being the only paleo eater at a party:

I like to find a polite way of asking what the host is serving to determine if there will be anything available that fits in to my lifestyle.  If I know there will be meat and vegetables, that makes things very easy.  If the fare is more simple carb laden, I will eat beforehand and drink water.

Going to a party or to a friends house for dinner is tough because I'm not in control of every single ingredient.  I can get a good idea whether or not something is sugar/grain/legume free, but there is no way to be 100%.  I like to chalk the not knowing factor up to ignorance is bliss, and quality of life.  Let's face it, if I'm going to a party, I want to relax and not be all super uptight about what may or may not be in my food.  The other 99% of my life that I'm not at my party will make up for the possible intake of foods that bother me.  

I have yet to attend a party or function in which there was absolutely nothing I can eat.  So, I find the things I can (carrots, meat, salads, chips, guacamole for example) load up, and move on enjoying the company.  If anyone notices my avoidance of anything bread, pasta, bean, or dessert, no one has said anything yet.  Imagine that, no one cares what I eat!  


333- Paleo Eats

If I'm not eating sugar, grains, or legumes for a year, what the heck do I eat?!?!?!

Some of this:

My weekend breakfast- paleo banana pancakes topped with blackberry compound butter and 1/2 of a white peach.

Some of this:

"Potato" Leek soup (made with cauliflower)

And a lot of this:

Grilled chicken thighs and squash from our garden.  Yes, its a rough life!

Friday, September 23, 2011

334- More on Pacing Myself

Yesterday I wrote about how my mindset is more "ultra-marathon" then "5K."  I'm focused, yet relaxed.  I'm working hard, yet know I have a long way to go still.  I have a goal, but just by the sheer nature of the goal, I can not be in a rush to get there or else I'd never make it. 
This new mindset/peace of mind did not come to me all at once.  Who would have thought that spraining my ankle would lead to such sweeping changes in my thoughts about my ways of eating?  At first I didn't realize how my ankle injury and my challenge of giving up sugar/grains/legumes for a year were related.  The other day as I was getting ready to head to the new gym at lunch, I started thinking about my ankle.  I started to think about where I was before the injury, and where I'm at now as far as my work capacity. There was a sort of lightbulb moment where I thought "there is no reason for me to worry about this anymore.  I'll get to where I was before eventually (and more), and there isn't anything I can do to speed up the process."  Then I thought of how far it had come over the past few weeks, and I was able to relax and move on. 
This theme washed over into my year long challenge a few days later as I was thinking "as long as I keep doing the right thing and avoiding foods that cause my blood sugar to spike, I'll be fine."  I'm not under any self-imposed deadlines to fit into a pair of jeans by the new year, or lose X pounds by my birthday.  I'm just putting one foot in front of the other, and leaving the rest up to its natural course.  What could be more paleo then that?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

335- Falling into a Rhythm

I'm celebrating my first milestone in this year long journey- day 30!  As of today, I am 1/12 of the way through my one year challenge of no added sugar, no grains, no legumes and it should be noted that unlike previous Paleo go rounds, I feel calm, relaxed, and ready for the next 11/12ths. 
A little more then 10 years ago, I started running.  I'm not really sure how the evolution in me took place, because I had always HATED running before that.  My first run was short, but I made sure to push myself to the perceived point of death (looking back, it was probably 3/4 of a mile, and took me 9 or 10 minutes?).  I woke up the next morning so sore that I can clearly remember it as one of the top 5 most sore moments in my life.  I went back out and did it again.  Eventually I got less sore, and slowly started increasing my distance/speed.  Then there was a day a few months later, when I had worked myself up to 3 mile runs, where all of a sudden I realized I was enjoying it.  My lungs weren't on fire.  I didn't feel like death, I felt in control, in a rhythm, and I felt like I could go on forever if I wanted.  It was such a defining moment...and even more so when I'm sure the major thing I did differently at that moment was just relax. 
I had always been so focused on the fact that I was doing something just because I thought I had to, and it felt unnatural to me, and it was hard in the beginning, so it always needed to be that way?  These thoughts would cause me to tense up and make my runs SO much harder then they should have been.  All I needed to do was relax.  Let my breathing calm, let my legs do their thing.  Once I was relaxed, I felt like I could go for miles and miles.  Running wasn't so bad afterall. 
Over the past 10 years I've gone through many phases of running, not running, trying to run again and everywhere in between.  Kinda similar to my eating patterns.  It always felt like I was trying to get somewhere- either around Greenlake or lose X amount of pounds in X amount of time, there was never the element of relaxation, and just letting a rhythm take over- until now.
This is what I knew about myself that I could not put into words earlier...that a 30 day or 60 day challenge is not enough for me.  When I have destinations like that, I tend to get antsy near the end and count down until I can "rest."  Right now I don't have that angst.  I'm running an ultra marathon here.  My destination is so far away, I might as well just kick back and enjoy the slow, relaxed ride and take in some scenery along the way.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

336- Biochemistry

I have no idea after what seems like 25+ years of being conscious of my weight, trying to lose weight, thinking about losing weight, dieting, life-style changing, etc., etc., I have neglected to ask the simplest of all weight loss questions:  When we lose weight, where does it go? 

Perhaps I never asked this question because I thought the answer was too obvious- I poop it out.  Duh (and wrong).  Or perhaps I never thought to ask because I knew no one around me was a biochemistry major that could really explain to me the mechanics of weightloss on a cellular level.  Well, thank god for Google.  Now, I can get an answer to any of my seemingly obvious questions in the privacy of my own home.  I can take as long as I want reading and re-reading information until it sinks in.  I can find numerous sources to look at (making sure they are credible, with citations/references of course) and finally settle my brain on an answer that combines the reoccurring themes from the different sources into a coherent explanation.  How great is the world we live in?

So, seriously, when we lose weight, where does it go?

Rather then launching headlong into a discussion of the Krebs Cycle, ATP, triglycerides, and mitochondria, (no one really wants that anyway) I'll shorten it up and get to my point.  After all these amazing processes take place in our body to provide us with energy, and in the very basic sense of things, making energy= losing weight.  Chemical reactions taking place within the body to make energy result in the by-products CO2, and water.  So, essentially, we exhale and pee/sweat weight off.

This is very different from my previous line of thought...

So, my point?  Solids and liquids going in make me gain weight, but weightloss is essentially me exhaling?  Does anyone else find it totally interesting that you can consume solids and gain weight, and then to lose weight, you breath out?   

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

337- Happy (xfit) Birthday

Today is my Crossfit birthday.  I know this because the owner/trainer at the original gym called me and left the nicest voicemail on my phone wishing me a happy crossfit birthday.  How awesome is that?  I can't wait to go in and do my birthday workout- where I do the very first workout I recorded and see how far I've come.  

In other news, my universe seems to have righted itself.  There was something under my skin for the past few weeks, and no matter how hard I scratched at it, or tried to make it better, nothing worked.  Probably the worst feeling in the world is thinking that someone thinks you think things that you don't.  It definitely was a matter of just going on with my life and letting time take its course. I hope the universe feels better knowing that I feel better, because I like my universe the way it is, and when one thing is off, it really messes me up.  More then you know.  

Monday, September 19, 2011

338- We Crave What We Eat

We crave what we eat.  In my continuing attempts at this paleo thing, the same thought runs through my head around the 3rd or 4th week.  Where have my cravings for bad food gone?  I went from a constant state of thinking about food, wanting food, denying myself foods, rationalizing foods, feeling guilty about food, to thinking nothing about food.  That's pretty extreme.  

I should point out that this is not a complaint, rather more of an observation.  This is probably the best explanation of what I mean when I say "my brain has changed."  So, what is different?  I think pasta might be the best example I can think of.  Prior to my paleo days, pasta was a weekly staple.  I could eat pasta with red sauce out of a jar every night (I didn't) but it always sounded good to me.  It was a go-to meal when I was too tired to think of anything else, or a meal I would eat when I needed comfort. I always thought I was doing myself a huge favor by eating that meal- it was low fat!  

I haven't had that meal- a meal I used to eat multiple times a week in over 15 months.  I haven't craved it once.  My theory?  Because I removed it from my rotation.  I also think that cravings have something to do with blood sugar spikes and lows, and some biochemical reactions taking place.  So, as long as I keep my blood sugar in check, I should be able to keep my cravings in check.  Still testing this theory.    

Sunday, September 18, 2011

339- Carb Inhalation?

Ok, I'm going to let you into a little bit of the crazy inside me.  Awhile ago I used to work at a fancy grocery store deli.  The kind of deli that did a full blown lunch menu, panini's, various hot items, and some fried items.  So, along with running around like a chicken with its head cut off heating up the hot items, taking orders, running the register, grilling panini's, cleaning, etc., I (well, all the deli workers) had to deep fry chicken, jojo's, and corn dogs.  Since I've been conscious of my weight for my entire adult life, I was conscious about the foods I needed to prepare as part of my job.  I actually worried that breathing in the smell of the items frying, I could get fatter.  True story.
Now, I kinda laugh at that (I got to my last low weight as an adult while working there).  Anyway...why is this relevant?  Because across the street from the new gym is a bread factory.  While we are working out, the yeasty smell of refined carbs waffes through, and I can't help but thinking: "am I derailing all my Paleo efforts by breathing in the carb air?"
Yeah, I'm nuts.  Go on, say it. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

340- Shift

Ok, something weird is happening.  Not bad, definitely goodish, but weird nonetheless.  Are you ready for it?  I'm kicking butt in my workouts.  Let me try to explain.  Sometimes I think I'm at a level which I'm not, in the sense that I have total confidence in my abilities, yet it just doesn't translate through to the workout.  I'll use an example to illustrate my thought process:
(take a look at workout on board)
example: Run 1 mile
Internal dialogue- "lets see, last time we ran a mile, I got 8:30.  Do I think I can beat that?  I don't know.  I'll for sure try to pick someone fast to run with, and just go for it.  Yeah, I'm gonna go for it."
During the workout my internal dialouge would usually go something like- "whew, this feels hard.  I feel sluggish.  Why won't my body just GO?  Where is my breath?  Just finish.  Just finish." 
example result: 8:35
This type of thing happens to me more often then not.  I really, truly feel I can do something, and then once I'm doing it, it just seems SO much harder then I was anticipating.  Even when I know things are going to be hard and it feels like I'm moving at break-neck speed, I'm not (according to that bastard the clock).  I've mentioned before about my brains wanting to pace myself, but that's not really what I'm talking about here. 
My latest theory based on my last 2 kick ass workouts is that there is a tipping point at which you become capable of doing more, then your mind and body sync up and you are able to push yourself past previous known limits. 
I think for sure this is a rare club that many don't belong to, but you know as soon as you are there.  For example Monday's workout, when I predicted I would finish in 23:40, I got 22:46.  I also was figuring that push-ups were going to be tough.  They were, don't get me wrong, but I was banging them out at a speed and intensity that previously only existed in my mind.  My body was actually doing what my mind envisioned.  THAT is the part that is weird, or maybe will just take some getting used to.
Then it happened again during Tuesday's workout- 13 minute AMRAP- (all 45#) 15 deadlifts, 15 upright rows, 15 squat thrusters (aka death), 15 push press, 15 front squats.  I looked at the board and saw most people got 2 rounds and some change.  I wanted to finish 3 rounds.  I busted my ass and nearly got through the 3rd round.  I was 15 front squats away, and dripping sweat on the floor.  Its like the better shape you get in, the harder you can work? 
There is only one thing to attribute this new phenomenon to.  My diet.  Awesome. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

341- Sad WOD

We are headed over to eastern Washington today for a camping trip.  I'm so excited!  We always have to wait till mid-September to do anything together since summer is super busy at bf deluxe's work.  No vacations allowed.  So, as soon as business dies down, we head out of town.  Do not fret, I have tricked this blogger thingy into posting while I'm away (I hope).

So yesterday was a disappointing day at Crossfit.  I skipped Wednesday's class because of meetings, and was delighted to see the workout for Thursday was "make-up day."  I really wanted to make up the deadlift workout from Wednesday.  So I go into class, fully expecting to lift a bunch of heavy shit from the ground to the middle of my thighs.  I'm still incredibly sore, like every time I move I groan in pain sore, so a mellow deadlift workout was just what I was in the mood for.  

Apparently, the make up day was for any workouts we missed last week.  Well, I didn't miss any from last week, and therefore had to pick out of a bag (which contained nothing but workouts from last week) and I was not allowed to do the deadlift workout.  I tried not to be pouty, but honestly, I didn't want to do a workout I just did last week.  I was ridiculously sore, so I knew my time was going to suck, and I WANTED TO DO DEADLIFTS.  I'm guessing it is for that very reason that I was not "allowed" to do the deadlift workout.  The same reason why trainers hate posting workouts online- because people tend to pick and choose what workouts they do.  The whole point is to do the things you suck at, and get better, not just do workouts that you want to do and/or like.  Grrrr.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

342- Tin/Aluminum

10 years in Seattle.  A whole decade.  Crazy.  It is also my pre-wedding anniversary?  One year from today is my wedding date.

Last year I wrote a post about my nine year Seattle anniversary, and some goals I set for myself for this past year.  How'd I do?  Let's take a look:

1) Continue to eat Paleo (85% or better)
2) Be a Crossfit rockstar (give 100%, everytime)
3) Be able to complete at least one full, real pull-up
4) Get back into sailing (once I reach a reasonable weight)
5) Find a job that is more suitable to my personality (more structure, more challenge)
6) Continue to maintain the friendships I have, and don't miss any opportunities to re-connect with lost friends
7) Travel outside of the U.S. again (preferably with boyfriend)
8) Get my first credit card
9) Be more consistent with retirement saving/contributions


So, I know what you are thinking.  It doesn't look good.  But, if I were to choose ONE thing from last years list to have if it meant not having any of the others it would be a new job.  I got that.  I love my new job.  Year 10 was a success.  

This year's goals:
1) Complete 365 days without sugar/grains/legumes
2) Get my ankle back to pre-injury state
3) Convert the entire front yard to a vegetable garden
4) Get a pull up, either kipping or strict
5) Run a 5K sub 30 minutes
6) 30" box jump
7) Travel outside the U.S.
8) Get my first credit card
9) Sail more
10) Attend some training that will aid in my field

I love my life here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

343- Eating My Words

Remember how on Monday I said the hardest part of my workout was putting my clothes on in the dark?  Yeah, eating those words now (no worry, they are carb free).  I haven't been able to straighten my arms for 2 days, and today I sneezed and thought my abs were going to burst.

Instead of hitting the gym at lunch to find my 3 rep max deadlift, I ate lunch in my cube and desperately tried to find ways to straighten my arms.  Luckily, tomorrow is a make up day at the gym, so I can get my deadlifts in then.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

344- Desperate

At one point or another, we've all been desperate for something, whether it be human contact, money, answers to unknown questions, weight loss, or any other myraid of things that cause that feeling of just wanting something...and willing to do almost anything to get it.  No other emotion is as easily identified and picked up on as desperation, perhaps because we've all been there.
The sad thing is, there are people out there that specifically look for the desperate to prey on.  Slimy men look for desperate chicks to get into bed.  Slimy salesmen look for desperate folks to push their products onto.  Slimy scam artists prey on the desperate claiming to have all the answers- for a price.  
The slime know exactly how to spot desperation, and know all the right things to say.  Its quite fascinating, really, that essentially millions of people make their living by being a parasite.  These people take advantage of a persons weakest moment for their own personal gain.  Who knows, maybe some of these parasites actually operate under the philosophy that they are helping?  
I'm sure at times in my life I have been both victim and parasite- you know, they whole "sometimes you're the dog, and sometimes you're the hydrant?"  I don't plan on never being a hydrant again, because, that's just a reality of life.  However, I do plan on continuing to recognizing dogs headed my way, and knowing what to expect (a whole lot of piss).  Along the same lines, when I'm feeling doggish, and have to pee, I'll try to avoid the hydrants. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

345- Sucker

I'm a lot of things, but a sucker is not one of them.  Just putting that out there.

Today is day 20 of sugar/grain/legume free.  Its so funny how time just passes no matter what you do.  In the beginning of this, each time I went to type the day I was on in the title spot, I felt like I was going nowhere.  Now, I'm like, wow, its been 20 days already?  I know its going to be the same thing when I get to day, its been a year already?  I know this because that's how the last 32 years have been.

Monday is my day to go to the original gym.  At lunch, I looked up the workout online to see "Angie."  Damn, a girl workout.  Angie is: 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and 100 squats.  Wow.  Instead of a deep seated rumbling of fear like I usually get, I got EXCITED.  I wanted to nail this workout.

So I spent the rest of the day mentally preparing for it.  How I was going to break each segment down, where I would be strong, where I would be weak.  I got into the gym just to see the last class finishing up.  They looked pained, but I'd seen worse.  Times were about 20-30 minutes, so I knew I would be falling somewhere in that range.  

We made space for ourselves, found out pull-up bars, ab-mats, etc. and before the workout, the trainer asked me, "Violet, what is your time going to be?"  "23:40" I said.  I finished in 22:46.  Pretty damn close!  The workout was tough, but I surprised myself.  I felt stronger through the push-ups then I ever had.  My sit-ups were awesome, but squats (normally my best thing) were tough because of the ankle, I just powered through in a slow rhythm. 

The hardest part of my workout today was getting changed into my workout clothes.  For some reason, I couldn't get the light to turn on in the bathroom, so I had to finagle putting on running tights, 2 sports bras, and a shirt in the pitch black.  I felt like I was back in photography class trying to get my film out of my camera and onto that whole developing reel thing (anyone with me on that?)  Anyway, it was no small feat.  I managed to do it on the first try without anything going on backwards, so I consider that a major victory.  Although, depending on if I can move tomorrow or not, I might be revising my view of how hard the actual workout was. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

346- How To

Make food for people that don't eat Paleo and not go crazy:
A love of good food was instilled in me very early.  Specifically homemade foods, and even more specifically, homemade baked goods from scratch.  I'm very fortunate to have grown up in a family that appreciates food, and loves it so much they plan events only after they know what the meal is going to be.  Even though as part of this family I fostered an unhealthy relationship with food, I was always eating real food, made from combinations of single ingredients.  I could pronounce every item that went into my foods. 
As I grew up and moved out of the house, I continued to practice making things from scratch.  Mostly baked goods, since those were my favorite, and seemed to be major crowd pleasers.  Going to events/pot-lucks I was always instructed to bring dessert.  I made cakes for co-workers on their birthdays.  The chef boyfriend would make dinner, and I would bake a dessert.  
I think I liked the process and science of baking as much as I did eating it.  There was always a craving, or rush I would get from thinking about something to make, looking for recipe ideas, and then coming up with my own tweeks to make it even better.  I think many of the times I found myself eating foods that were not right for me was because I wanted to satisfy a craving for baking (putting something together), not necessarily the food itself, although it always turned into me eating whatever I made.  Probably one of the hardest things about going Paleo was having to give up the baker part of me.
During my first 30-day Paleo trial, I made several (failed) attempts at baking.  Eventually I came to the realization that baking as I knew it was a closed chapter in the book of my life.  Could I still bake non-Paleo items?  Sure.  I did this a few times over the course of last year either during my "cheat days (weeks)" or because I intended it to be "for" someone, only to end up sampling and derailed.   
Yesterday, I invited a bunch of friends over for brunch.  Hosting people at our house for dinners/bbq's/etc. is something we love doing, and do often.  I like planning the meal and knowing that we are putting out a good product for our friends to enjoy.  I started thinking about brunch type foods, and what I would be making.  Baked goods definitely had to be on the menu since this was not a "Paleo" function.  I thought about what I could make: muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, etc.  Ugh, this was going to be tough.  How could I make something and not be able to taste it while making it to ensure it was ok?  How could I sit in a house while delicious smells of baked goods wafted through the air?  How could I not eat something that I baked?
I formed a plan.  First off, like I mentioned in my post the day before yesterday, my head is clear.  I'm not currently run by food thoughts and/or rationalizing how I'm going to get my next fix.  I'm focused on the task at hand, and this task doesn't end for another 346 days.  So, out of the brunch options above, I chose the one I'm most "meh" about.  Scones.  I threw in some blackberries for good measure (don't really care for them).  Then, I thought about a way that I could treat myself that wouldn't be off the goal- bacon!  Bacon is the answer to everything.  I knew as long as I could have bacon, I would be ok with not eating a scone. 
When all was said and done, there were two moments that nearly set me back to day 365: when I was spooning the scones onto the baking sheet, I almost unconsciously licked my fingers (but snapped out of it just in time), and when I was cleaning up after everyone had left, and there was a tiny broken chunk of scone on the plate I THOUGHT about sampling it to make sure the product I had served was up to my standard.  Then I thought about having to start at day 365 again, and changed my mind.  I bagged up the remaining scones, gave one to the bf to try when he got home so I could make sure they were ok, (he ate 3) but told me they were "horrible."  I sent him to work this morning with the remaining scones to get them out of the house. 
How to make non-Paleo foods for others and not go crazy:
1) Have a plan to make something special for yourself that fills the "void" of not being able to eat said food
2) Make something you are indifferent about (if you would kill for a brownie, make cookies instead)
3) Keep your head in the game or old habits may creep up unconsiously
4) Make sure all your product gets eaten by the intended persons (or anyone but yourself), and get leftovers out of the house asap

Saturday, September 10, 2011

347- Sometimes I Forget

That food is fuel.  My lunch yesterday consisted of some leftover grilled chicken breast and some sliced avocado.  Not really one of my most exciting lunches.  As the office was munching down on a catered meal of pizza and salad with mini shrimps on top, I nuked my food.  About 2 bites into it, I remembered how much I don't care for chicken breast.  Especially when I'm used to chicken thighs, pork shoulder, rib-eye steaks, etc.  

I ate about 3 more bites and threw the rest away.  I had gotten everything I needed from that meal, some protein, some fat, and I was done.  The smells of delivered pizza had nothing on me.  I was simply re-fueling to get me through the rest of my work day, re-fueling to get me to dinner.  It worked just fine.  

Sometimes I forget that not every meal needs to be a culinary experience.  Food can be simply fuel.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

348- Practice Makes Perfect

The other day, when I woke up wide awake before my alarm and began my day, it was the start of something big inside me.  Since that day three days ago, there has not been one single doubt in my mind that I'm going to make it this whole year without sugar/grains/legumes etc.  Not one. 
Its almost as if overnight I can see myself getting smaller, my clothes getting bigger.  Definition is forming in my arms again, and I've been pushing myself as hard as I possibly can at the gym.  Everything just makes sense, and its so goddamnsimple it kills me.  Why, why, why?!  Was I wasting so much time before making things hard on myself?  Spinning my wheels, self-destructing, and beating myself up are no longer part of my daily activities.
Choosing to make such big sweeping lifestyle changes to not happen instantly.  As much as I would like to be the person that can say they are going to do something and actually do it, that just is not me.  I've always been in awe of these people, but never one of them.  My life seems to be made up of me having to work 5 times as hard as anyone else to get things to go my way.  I have noticed that the things I want, really, truly want, I continue to go after.  I don't let minor setbacks stop me.  
A Paleo lifestyle is just like any other skill I've attempted in my life.  The first time I got into a boat could I sail it?  No.  But I kept at it.  The first time I picked up a bar to try and perform a Power Clean, I didn't get it.  But I kept at it.  The first time I tried Paleo I had some success, but got derailed.  I'm keeping at it.  Nothing has made me feel so good about myself for so long.  Nothing has felt more right for me, from the top of my head to the tips my toes, to my core.  I feel amazing.  I'm full of life and energy and thoughts...everything is so clear. 
Do people feel like this all the time?  More importantly, are there people that feel like this all always, and  therefore wouldn't even know what it feels like to NOT feel like this?  That thought blows my mind.  If giving into some meaningless food temptation means losing this feeling, its just not worth it.  That is how I know I'm going to make it the whole year- my mind is free to see my full potential, and wow, just like everyone that has ever sold themselves short, I realize have so much untapped genius to share... 
I'm not going to risk throwing that away for anything.  Look, out, here I come.  LIFE IS AWESOME. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

349- Belief Relief

This is nothing like the post I wrote yesterday that got deleted.  I couldn't get the energy back to re-write it, I hope it comes back to me someday, but in the mean time, here's where I'm at.
You know those people in your life that you think have it all together?  They seem flawless in everything they do.  They attended a good college, have a good job, a nice husband, they are athletic, trim, funny, and when they drop their buttered toast, it does not land butter side down...Well I was speaking to one of the many of these I have in my life last night, and a few things dawned on me.
1) We all have our demons
2) It doesn't matter what someone believes, if they believe it to be true, it is.    
As far as #1 goes, yeah, duh.  But it is important to remind myself of this when putting someone on a pedestal.
#2 is a little harder for me to swallow, but at the same time means tremendous growth for me.  Let me explain.  My seemingly totally together friend was talking about how she wanted the scale to be 5 pounds lower.  End of story.  She knows that muscle weights more then fat.  She knows that muscle takes up less room in the body then fat.  None of that matters, because she has her mind set on a certain number.  

My thoughts that I kept to myself as she was telling me this: "she doesn't need to lose any weight, is she crazy?"  "She works out a lot, I wonder if she cares if its muscle she's losing?"  "How can someone be so smart, yet be so hung up on an arbitrary number?"

The growth here is me keeping my thoughts to myself.  I just listened.  I didn't ask what her plan was, or why or whatever.  I just listened and fully understood that there is nothing in the world I can say to her to make her think otherwise.  Her beliefs are shaped by her experiences and education, as are mine.  We are human, and we are all different.  

What a relief it was to not push my ideas onto someone else.  To just sit back, and take note of the fact that someone I always considered to have it all together, may in fact not.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

350- Grrrr

I wrote an awesome post and just accidentally deleted it.  More tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

351- Well Rested

A few months ago, the bf deluxe's schedule got switched around a bit, and we were able to start carpooling to work on Mondays and Tuesdays.  In terms of sleep habits/waking up, the bf deluxe and I are complete opposites.  I love sleeping, he hates sleeping.  I go to bed early, he stays up as late as possible.  I hate being woken up, he doesn't mind.  I can't function on less then 7 hours of sleep, he runs on an average of 5 hours.  

Normally our patterns work because he worked nights.  I always went to bed early because I had to be up early.  I would grumble and snooze 1,000 times in the morning before getting up while he slept away till late morning.  Sometimes I'd wake up and he hadn't even gone to bed yet!  I had the whole bathroom to myself to get ready in, I could take as much time as I wanted getting my lunch ready and packing for the gym.  

Lately we've been going to bed at the same time, but the morning?  The mornings are very different.  It starts out with the alarm going off at 6am.  The bf immediately bolts up and begins his 5 minute routine to get ready, 10 minutes if he showers.  Meanwhile, I'm still in bed trying to eek out the last bit of sleep possible with the dog before I get yelled at to wake up.  Did I mention I hate waking up?  So then I stumble around, trying to find something to wear, clothes for the gym, pack my lunch, make sure the chickens, dog, and plants are fed/watered, while the bf deluxe paces back and forth silently rushing me out the door.  Inevitably, I forget to do something every morning (deodorant, socks for the gym, snack, etc.)  On the plus side, I do get to be a passenger in the car and catch up on my blog reading as we speed through traffic in the carpool lane.  

Today was different.  I don't know if it was the 3 day weekend, or my diet, but I woke up BEFORE the alarm, before the bf, and proceeded to get ready.  I was so well rested that I just woke up and was ready to go!  We were out the door in record time.  It was awesome.  Let's hope for more mornings like that!   

Monday, September 5, 2011

352- Labor Day

More recipe success today as following a great tip from a gym friend, I made paleo pancakes that had only 3 ingredients: egg, banana, almond butter. For good measure, I added some baking powder and a dash of sea salt. They were amazing! They cooked up just like traditional pancakes. I topped them with some organic pasture butter, and a side of bacon. Best of all, afterwards, I didn't feel like crap!

I wish every weekend was a 3 day weekend.  I got so much done!  I soaked up plenty of vitamin D, noshed on fresh eggs and tried a bunch of new recipes.  I also kicked the bf deluxe's butt back into keeping up his blog...Dave's Cave.  Check it out HERE if you haven't yet.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

353- Paleo Recipe Explosion!

So far this weekend has been a Paleo recipe marathon, and with one more day left in the holiday weekend, I don't plan on stopping!

So far, I've made (click to get sent to recipe):
- roasted garlic
- Roasted purple carrots

I know that the roasted garlic and carrots aren't really that exciting, but they are worth noting because I have never had purple carrots before (picked them up this morning at the Farmers Market) and I've never roasted garlic before. Huge success on both!

In fact, everything I made this weekend rocked, and my fridge is stocked with yummy dips/sauces and veggies from the market. Tomorrow I'll be making pesto with the basil I picked up. Can't wait to start experimenting this week with combinations. Is it me or do fun condiments make everything more exciting?!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

354- 31 Heroes WOD

Today at the original gym, we honored the 31 Heroes killed in battle about a month ago in Afghanistan by performing an newly created hero WOD. I had agreed to do the workout weeks ago, still unsure of how my ankle would be doing, and not knowing the workout (they hadn't made it up yet!).

When I learned what the workout was, I got worried because 1) it was a partner WOD, and we all know how much I love those, and 2) nearly all of the things I couldn't do properly. While one partner is running 400m with weight, the other partner is to perform as many rounds as possible of the following: 8 thrusters, 6 rope climbs (or 18 modified get ups), 11 box jumps. When your partner gets back from the run, you inform them of where you are in the round, and they pick up there.

I went to the gym not sure if I was going to be doing the workout. Before I knew it, I was. I discussed the modifications I would be making with the trainers, and met my partner. The new girl. Different gym, different partner WOD, different new girl. FML. Besides my partner being totally clueless on how the workout was supposed to be tallied, it was awesome. I may have been kinda mean to her, but really? How hard is it to keep track of 3 things and do them repetitively and tell me where you left off?

Anyway, all annoyance aside, I had an awesome workout. I was able to run 1 mile (400m 4X) today! Not only that, but I spent a ridiculous amount of time pulling myself off the floor with an aide of a large rope. Glad my grip had healed from Thursday's killer workout. I felt amazing afterwards, made sure to make peace with the new girl, and ate some yummy paleo approved foods.

It was so good seeing everyone, I felt stupid for even thinking I wasn't going to be able to participate. Afterall, this workout was about putting all the day to day crap (or a healing sprained ankle) aside and honoring 31 people that gave their all. Thank you heroes. Today was for you.

Friday, September 2, 2011

355- Taste Test

Over the past year or so, I found that recipe's under the "paleo" label are hit and miss. Today while browsing one of my favorite recipe blogs (nom nom paleo) I was inspired to make her asian cauliflower fried "rice." I thought it would be a great opportunity to use some of my freshly layed eggs, green onions growing in the garden, and some left overs I had in the fridge. Plus, I love cauliflower.

I stopped by the store on the way home, picked up some coconut aminos- I'll be honest, I had to Google it to see what aisle to even begin looking for it on. Once I saw the bottle, I knew it was with the vinegar/mustard/condiment stuff. Essentially, someone found a way to make a dead-ringer for soy sauce out of coconut. They should win some sort of Noble award. The stuff is fermented, and therefore "fizzy." The bottle I had in my cart ended up fizzling and spilling a few drops onto other stuff. The kid bagging my groceries insisted on getting me another bottle that wasn't leaking. Of course, he ran the whole way back with the bottle in hand, which is basically like running with a warm can of coke. The bottle he gave me leaked worse then the first. Oh, well.

When I got home, I searched the counter for the 4 eggs that had been layed in the past 2 days. They were no where to be found. The bf deluxe had taken them to work (show off)! Grrr. So, I walked out back to check and see if there were any eggs. Sure enough, there was one gleaming, perfect, white egg. I picked 3 huge green onions from the garden, and went inside to start chopping and prepping for the "rice."

When pulsing the cauliflower in the food processor, I now realize I made a fateful decision that won't be made again. I only put in 1/2 of the head because I figured, if this recipe sucked, I could use the other 1/2 to make something good. I prepared the fried rice as directed, but since I only had one egg, I just scrambled it in while the stuff was cooking instead of cooking the eggs separate and adding in later. I now see why people make such a big deal over cage-free, grass fed, free range eggs. The shell was thick. It took me 2 tries to crack it. The yolk was nearly orange, and when I scrambled it, the mixture was a vibrant yellow like I have never seen eggs make before. It was beautiful.

The "rice" dish was fantastic. I will definitely be making it again as its a great way to incorporate our eggs into a meal that I will eat, the coconut aminos did an amazing soy sauce impression, and the fresh green onions brought it all together. Next time, I'm using the whole cauliflower head!

In one fell swoop I tasted coconut aminos for the first time, tasted my first home raised hen egg, and tried a kick ass paleo recipe that didn't suck!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

356- Tires and Deadlifts

Today, on my lunch break, I carried truck tires around a parking lot and deadlifted when I wanted a break from tire carrying. This went on for nearly 22 minutes.

When this was over, my hands struggled to open, my hard earned callouses from 3 years of high school crew were swollen and had massive blisters underneath, and my forearms were on fire. It was a great workout. Ankle is holding up well. Definitely a rest day tomorrow, but I'm seriously going to try and do some run/walking this weekend.

I guess its about time I mention the hot cop trainer we have at the gym by my work. I'm making a mental note to never share this blog with anyone at my new gym, because I would die if they read this (feel special CF Muk'ers!). So yeah, the cop thing instantly adds a few hot points onto most guys, something about a uniform? Probably my favorite thing is that after introducing myself to him 2 weeks ago, he's never called me by my name. I'm just "V" and I love it! Now all the other 12 noon regulars call me "V" too, probably cause they think that's my name! Don't worry, the boyfriend deluxe knows all about him, and proceeds to tease me incessantly.